Number one for English language teachers

Icebreaker competition

Find out the winner of the onestopenglish icebreaker competition! Following all of your icebreaker competition entries in September, we selected our top picks and here they are. Each of our winners will receive a free three-month subscription to onestopenglish.


OSE Icebreaker 620

Samantha Neal

“My favourite icebreaker is a group treasure hunt. I use this game all year round, either just for a bit of light relief or if there’s any friction between students, but always on the first day so they can get comfortable with each other. It’s very easy to organize and better played outside if possible, or all around the school. First, the whole class forms a circle holding hands. If there are more than eight students, smaller groups may be better. The rule is that you have to move as a group to collect your ’clue cards’, but you cannot let go of your fellow students’ hands or break the circle. According to level, students may have to collect alphabet cards, days of the week, irregular verbs, words that eventually make a sentence, synonyms, etc - any target language! When they are told to go, they move around the space collecting clue cards (either hidden or in obvious places, and colour coded if more than one team are playing at the same time). Students are told at the begining how many cards they will need and what colour their team is. Having collected all the cards, they then put them in order and the first team to finish wins. If there are issues with winning/losing, other teams can be awarded prizes such as most cooperation, least cheating, etc. When the whole school plays at once it’s total madness and great fun. The result is that everyone now feels less shy having all held hands.”

Evelyne Seymour

“I like to use a game which I call ’Who am I?’ I write the name of famous people (or jobs) on stickers. I give a sticker to each student for them to place on their top without looking at it. Then, they take it in turns to ask closed questions to the other students in order to guess who they are. The other students can only anwer ’yes’ or ’no’. It’s good practice for them to be able to formulate questions, it’s also fun when they discover that they are Madonna (or a clown if the game is about jobs).”

Isabel Findlay

“This is one that I do almost every year, and my students love it! I get them to write down two things they absolutely love, e.g. I love spending my free time surfing, and then two things they really hate, e.g. I can’t stand having to wait for the bus in the cold rain. I tell students that they must not write their names on their papers. The papers are then folded and collected. A random student then picks a folded paper, reads it and then he or she must try to guess which of their classmates is being mentioned.”

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